Japan to help India develop `solar city'

India and Japan will jointly develop one city in India as `solar city', where the use of conventional energy would be reduced to the minimum.

A Japanese delegation led by Kazuhiro Haraguchi, minister for internal affairs and communications, today met union minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah and discussed various aspects of cooperation between the two countries in the field of renewable energy.

The `solar city' project initially aims to reduce a minimum of 10 per cent of the city's projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years through energy efficiency measures and generation from renewable energy installations.

The government has, so far, given in-principle approval to 34 cities in the country to be developed as `solar cities.'

Japan is promoting a "Midori no Bunken", which aims at changing centralised society to community-based society to enhance self-sufficiency within a region through maximising natural resources (forest, sea, food, etc) and energy, with emphasis on self-sufficiency.

"Midori no Bunken" does not rely on electricity generated by others. It focuses on renewable energy like solar, wind, micro hydel and biomass energy.

The two delegations also agreed to strengthen cooperation in research and development for promoting renewable energy. As part of the exchange programme, a 10-member delegation from India will participate in the Japan-India New and Renewable Energy Seminar in Tokyo later this month.

The delegation will include representatives from central and state governments and nodal agencies.